Another week, another injury for the Philadelphia Flyers. After losing Kent Huskins to a concussion a week ago, the Flyers have announced that the backbone of their blueline, Finnish D-man Kimmo Timonen, is out with a foot injury. The compression fracture in his right foot will take at least a month to heal, which is another good reason why the Flyers shouldn’t make the playoffs.
Timonen was a resident Iron Man, missing zero games this season up until this point. He is having one of the best years in his career, playing both intelligent defense in his own and contributing offensively, a nice sign after signing a one-year extension with the Flyers in February.
The Flyers need Timonen more than ever, with a crumbling defensive core made up of rookies and inexperienced players. His stability on the back end leads to amazing things for the team, including their late-win over the Washington Capitals as he popped in a goal with under 10 seconds to go to take the game into overtime. With Chris Pronger out indefinitely, Timonen is (and probably always has been) the defacto leader of the team, often controlling the pace of play and setting up the forwards for success.
The Flyers have responded by recalling Andreas Lilja and Matt Konan from Adirondack, both are defensemen looking to keep their place on the main roster full-time. These final few games should give the team and management a good idea of who to draft in the upcoming lottery, who to trade for, and what to do to ensure the team makes the playoffs the following year.